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Financial Aid

Financial Aid Facts

Financial Aid is a general term encompassing different sources of money to help families pay for college.  It is money that the government and other organizations give you or lend you so you can pay for college. includes grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and loans. As you apply to each college, be aware of financial aid deadlines for each school.

Types of Financial Aid:

Grants are called gift aid because they do not have to be paid back.  grants come from the federal and state government and from colleges. Federal government (Pell Grant), state government (Cal Grant), California College Promise Grant, California Dream Act, Incentive Grant Program, or from the college directly. Students may qualify for grants due to their financial or academic status. Grants do not need to be repaid. They are usually given based on your family's financial circumstances. 

Scholarships are also free money that you receive from colleges or outside private organizations. Most students earn scholarships because they have done something special they have great academic and personal achievements, they have volunteered, they are talented in some way, interested in a certain subject, have financial need, are underrepresented, STEM students, overcome a challenge, or just simply they want to pursue a certain career, etc. Scholarships can be earned directly from colleges or by applying to them on your own. There are also many online scholarship search sites, but keep in mind that you should never have to pay a company or individual for scholarship information.

College Work-Study programs are jobs offered by colleges that provide part-time employment while you are enrolled in school. Being awarded work-study does not guarantee employment, but students must indicate they are interested in work-study when submitting the FAFSA to be considered.

Loans are money that must be repaid. Loans are available from the federal government, private institutions, or colleges.  Borrowing money from a bank, government, or lending company is called taking out a loan.  a loan must be paid back with an extra charge in interest. The federal government offers low-interest loans to students with financial needs. Other lenders charge more interest.